21 November 2012

Gambia: World Diabetes Day Observed

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with Gamcel recently observed World Diabetes Day at a ceremony held at the Gamcel head office in the Kanifing Municipality.

The theme for this year's celebration was"plasters education and prevention'. Diabetes is a lifelong physical condition in which there is a problem with levels of sugar in one's blood due to a lack of insulter.

Speaking at the ceremony, Fatim Badjie, the minister of Health and Social Welfare,thanked Gamcel for sponsoring the occasion, saying that World Diabetes Day is commemorated every November 14 and is in response to the growing concerns about the escalating health threats diabetes now poses. "Diabetes is everybody's concern. It knows no boundary, no nationality, no race, no class and no gender. It can affect anyone especially those who are not watched in terms of their diet. Diabetes is a killer disease in terms of its complications."

According to her,uncontrolled diabetes leads to blindness, impotence, kidney failures, stroke, coma, heart disease, hypertension and amputation. "Medications do help to improve the diabetic condition but we can live a normal and even healthier life with diabetics if we exercise regularly and watch what we eat," Minister Badjie noted.

For his part, Momodou Gasama, health promotion officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO), stated that diabetes is a serious, chronic and costly disease that imposes lifelong demands not only on people living with the disease but also their families. He disclosed that it is estimated that some 230 million people worldwide currently suffer from the disease and this number is likely to more than double by 2030 if effective interventions are not undertaken.

Gasama further told the gathering that sub-Saharan Africa has not been spared in this escalation and it is estimated that, should current trends continue, the region would witness a 98% increase from 12.1million cases in 2010 to 23.9million cases by 2030.

He added: "Reversing the current trend of diabetes in the region is feasible if the Ministries of Health and communities works together to reduce diabetes risk factors such as overweight, obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use and consumption of food with high content of fat and energy and to consume more fruits and vegetable."

Speaking earlier, Almamy Kassama, thegeneral manager of Gamcel, welcomed the Health Minister and delegation, saying that Gamcel's doors will always be open to the health sector.

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